Extremely homesick and need some advice?

I moved out to Paris 10 weeks ago to start the first half of my year abroad, (very early I know) and started classes at a private french language school mid August. I do classes in the morning, and then an internship in an office in the school during the afternoon. I am really not liking it, as at the school, there are very little people to chat to, as when I eventually make a friend, the average time that someone is at the school is only 2 weeks, whereas I am here until December. I am really missing home, and am trying everything to make it easier. I can't go out at nights, as I live an hour out of Paris, and so have to take the train which can have pretty scary people during the day, let alone the night. Also, with being so far out, it makes it impossible to meet more people or do anything in the evenings, as there is nothing to do and my flatmate is constantly at her boyfriend's, which is horrible considering how much I am missing mine and she leaves me with her cats - I hate cats. I hate it, as I promised myself I would make the most of my time here, and I know that I am as I am constantly keeping busy and have done so many touristy things etc. I just constantly have this horrible heavy, sad feeling over me, and find myself counting down the hours until it is a day closer to being home, It's so pathetic I know. I am really wishing I could come home, but know that I would really regret it. Any one got any advice for me at all, or anyone in Paris that fancies meeting up or something? Any help is appreciated.

This question was asked on 28th September 2015 and has been read 4045 times.

  • Anonymous Answer · 7 years ago

    I'm on my year abroad at the moment too, and I have a lot of friends who are in Paris at the moment. I would definitely recommend joining some of the Erasmus Facebook pages and participating in the events they offer. This may not help you improve your French as you are likely to speak English there, but you will meet like minded people who are also away from home. Sometimes just having someone in the same situation (or similar) can be very comforting. Many of the Erasmus activities are day time events, not clubbing at night, so I'm sure that a lot would be open to you so that you can meet some people.

  • Anonymous Answer · 7 years ago

    Hiya, may I ask - are you working in the centre of Paris and living an hour out? Or working AND living an hour outside Paris? 

    If it's the former, I would consider paying extra to live in the heart of it all so you can get stuck into life outside school, and meet more people like you - there are some great accommodation websites, and it sounds like moving house would do you good! It's important not to put up with crappy accommodation (it sounds like you've got a bit of a raw deal on that front) and move when you're unhappy - the same with your job. Your uni will understand, as long as you apply for other roles and find one to replace it. They want you to be happy, believe it or not! Think of this a mini foreign version of your normal home life - if you were unhappy with your accommodation or your job back at home you'd move/change, right? 

    If it's the latter, AND you don't want to change job, why not consider finding new accommodation in central Paris and commuting to work? A LOT of people do it, and it will be worth the cost if it means that you can spend evenings and weekends with new friends who LIVE in Paris, and aren't just visiting! There are Facebook groups to find friends doing just this - and there are others in your position who want to meet people, so you are not alone!

    If you take anything away from this post, it's: PLEASE don't just sit back and accept that you are unhappy - CHANGE what's making you unhappy. You are in charge! It's your life! Noone will stop you, no matter what contract you've signed. It might cost you some money, but your happiness and SANITY is worth it!!!

    I hope that helps :) Good luck! :) x

  • gemma · 7 years ago

    In a similar position here! I also live outside of Paris and commute 45m- 1 hour to university and also have some rather interesting characters on my train home (which is not pleasant on a day with lectures until 20:30)...

    I suffer greatly with homesickness too and I think (comparing 1st year uni me to year abroad uni me) it's to do with control and keeping busy. 

    Plan meals if you like to cook, if you don't then learn to! Make a meal plan and do a shopping list and go out to the supermarket to get everything. Silly idea but thinking ahead practically has helped me, as well as having something to look forward to if I'm too creeped out to go outside. Nice dinners, netflix, school work, Skype home, washing up, cleaning - sounds silly but a to-do list like this definitely keeps you busy and takes the extra stress away!

    I have also made a point of travelling into (real) Paris on Sundays and exploring. Plan it out, where are you going to go, what to see, metro routes, free stuff etc. When you're walking around and hear obnoxious/ lost/rude/clueless etc tourists, it does make you stop and think and remember that you're living the dream (even though sometimes it feels like you aren't, then you feel guilty - I know I do.)

    And remember, you are "living the dream" but how many people have the balls to actually do this? What you're doing is great and so worthwhile!

    If it turns out that we live in nearby scary areas I would be more than happy to meet up or whatever (although I have no idea how to do that on here) 

    -- former homesickness sufferer who is, somehow, feeling ok living away from home :)

  • Anonymous Answer · 7 years ago

    Thank you both for your advice! I have spoken to my university and they have offered me another position that I will hopefully get. I am going to work and live on the other side of Paris, and so am going to move from where I am now. I will be on the west side of the RER A if you are anywhere nearby? Thank you for all of the advice, I really really appreciate it. I am still really struggling here, but hopefully this change may do some good! 

  • Romy Higgins · 7 years ago

    I lived in Paris during my semester abroad and lived in a foyer on Avenue George V, which was the best way to meet people and practise French.  We all ate meals together and did activities and it's such a supportive place to live that it was the best thing I did.  It might be too late for you to move house, in which case you could try to find something to do in your area, like a Pilates class or pub quiz or something.  I remember reading about a Frenglish pub quiz somewhere in Paris as I was about to leave that sounded fun.  Is there anyone else from your university in Paris?  Even if not, you could invite friends who are in other places in France to come and stay at weekends, and then you can play tour guide.  Have a look at the Erasmus Student Network, as they often arrange events for students in foreign cities.  Are there people at your work you could socialise with?  Ask if they fancy getting lunch or going to the cinema after work.  Hopefully you feel better soon :)

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